Tory MP won’t be dismissed over ‘unacceptable’ texts asking intern to ‘fool around’ with him
Tory MP Rob Roberts will not be dismissed over “unacceptable” messages he sent to an intern, the Conservative Party has confirmed.
The MP for Delyn in North Wales was first accused of sexual harassment in July 2020, when a 21-year-old female intern revealed that he had sent her messages inviting her to “fool around with no strings” and telling her she had “lovely legs”.
He also allegedly made inappropriate comments to a male House of Commons employee and asked him out on dates on a number of occasions, pushing the man to move to a new job.
The Conservative Party’s campaign headquarters (CCHQ) launched an inquiry into Roberts’ conduct after the BBC revealed the messages last year.
However, the CCHQ told Politico on Thursday (8 April) that the investigation had concluded and Roberts would not be suspended for his conduct.
Politico saw correspondence between one of Roberts’ constituents and the Tory complaints department which revealed that the investigation concluded a number of weeks ago. Despite this, the findings were only revealed publicly when the party was approached by the political news outlet.
A party spokesperson said: “Rob Roberts’ conduct as found to be unacceptable under the party’s code of conduct and he has been strongly rebuked.
“Mr Roberts has apologised for his behaviour and was instructed to undertake safeguarding and social media protection training.”
Intern says Tory MP Rob Roberts has ‘gotten away with it’
The female intern who received the inappropriate messages, who has not been named, told BBC Wales that she felt like Roberts had “gotten away with it” and that the party whip should have been removed over his conduct.
“It’s not one incident but multiple and he’s a threat to our safety,” the woman said.
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“He’s gotten away with it, and that’s not acceptable,” she said, criticising the Conservatives for “keeping him within the party and giving such a minimal punishment”.
She also said she was contacted “at no point” by the party during the course of the investigation.
When the scandal first broke last year, Roberts blamed the stress of coming out as gay for his inappropriate conduct with a male colleague and with a female intern.
“I have found the last few months and the ‘coming out’ process to have been particularly challenging and the cause of a great deal of mental stress to me,” he told the BBC at the time.
“Creating a story from this interaction which has been dealt with amicably seems calculated to add to that stress, which is distressing.”
PinkNews has contacted the Conservative Party and Rob Roberts for comment.